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How to Use the iPad for Music Control: Cables, Wireless, MIDI, OSC

You know the possibilities are significant, but how do you explore them? iPad, Ableton Live, MIDI, OSC, Wi-Fi, MIDI … how can you connect your iPad to other tools for music control? We brought in an expert, Nicolas Bouga├»eff, Creative Director at Liine, to explain the different routes, including not only wireless, but wired solutions, too. Liine is the maker of Lemur and popular Ableton Live control apps (LiveControl 2 being the most recent). Nicolas naturally builds on that expertise, but the lessons here apply to a range of iOS apps. This tutorial should answer some questions for beginners and …

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Imagine a Musical Interface, Mirror it on Your iPad: Max + Mira

I heard David Zicarelli once describe Max as a blank sheet of paper – a canvas on which you can imagine any musical creation. Until now, though, there’s been no way to touch those creations directly – other than with a mouse. Mira is a lovely solution to that idea. As users “patch,” visually creating tools in Max, objects that impact user interface interaction (knobs, faders, buttons, musical keyboards and the like) are visible both on your computer screen and on your iPad. You even can add images, new objects for multitouch and motion, text, and images. And you can …

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Bhoreal: RGB Grid as Open Source Hardware – Kit or Ready-Made, Wired or Wireless

We are Bhoreal from MID New Media Design on Vimeo. Grids are suddenly everywhere – in music control, but also in visuals and art. And they’re lighting up in RGB. But Bhoreal promises to do some things other grids aren’t. Whereas the monome is a truly beautiful, handmade and rare object, its rarity – by design – means it’s hard to get. And readily-available commercial products aren’t open source, and while they fit certain needs elegantly, they’re designed to stick to those needs rather than allow easy modification. Bhoreal is this kind of blank-slate, do-anything colored grid you can turn …

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Fractals, Bots, Nodes, and Patternists: Onyx Ashanti’s Cyborg Music Meets the Ensemble [Guest Post]

Get ready: from one more-than-human musical cyborg, a robotic horde of beatjazz artists. Onyx Ashanti isn’t satisfied just augmenting his own body and musical expression with 3D-printed, sensor-laden prostheses. He’s extending that solo performance with bots that crawl around and gesture for feedback, then – inspired by the organic beauty of fractal geometry – is binding together performers with his system in a networked system of nodes. Just don’t call it a jam session. Call them patternists. If this sounds crazy, it is: crazy in just the way we like. But amidst this hyper-futuristic vision of performance, Onyx also writes …

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Multiplayer Music: Max for Live Patch Perfects Sync Over Wifi with Ableton – and a Coffeemaker

You’re not, in fact, a lonely bedroom musician with no friends. You’ve got friends. You’ve got collaborators. You’ve got audio and visual artists who want to play with your laptop with sync piped between you, and yet wireless synchronization for laptop performance has often been an elusive ideal. Here, in spectacular fashion, you can see it all come together over WiFi with Ableton Live, a projection-mapped coffeemaker, and everything from percolation sounds to the keypad sound effect from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This just in from Barcelona – a new Max for Live plug-in is making laptops and …

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GarageBand for iPad Hands-on: Why It’s Ideal for Beginners, What You May Not Know

Let’s get this out of the way: musicians are not a “niche” group. Recording has done some damage to the popular practice of live music, but still, you’ll find an astonishing number of people play instruments and sing. (New pop culture phenomena like Glee, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games, and the resurgent TV talent show have helped, too.) What’s “niche” is conventional music production software. While it’s a fast-growing segment, music making software remains elusive and befuddling to a whole lot of musicians. GarageBand for Mac was one answer to what software for the remaining group should look like. But …

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Two MIDI Tools for Playing iPad/iPhone, One Whimsical, One Practical

From top, MIDIWriter uses what would normally be your text input for music; MIDI Studio takes a more conventional – but nicely-implemented – approach. Equipped with MIDI, a phone or tablet can communicate with a vast range of standalone hardware and computer software for music. So, what to do with that power? Two recent applications show just some of the breadth of possibility, one from Japan, one from Ukraine. One provides an array of powerful tools, combining into one application a lot of functions that have otherwise been available only in separate apps. One takes a more novel approach. Each …

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Musikmesse Wrap-up, with Keyboard Magazine: The Latest Gear [Gallery, Roland Wireless Vid]

Like a World’s Fair of all the invention in music technology, the big trade shows still gather many of the latest creations from around the globe. And while the NAMM show in California is big, Musikmesse is bigger: spanning some 11 halls (together with a live lighting and event show called Pro Light+Sound), it’s the biggest on Earth. Having covered NAMM for German publication DE:BUG, I’m thrilled to get to do the reverse and highlight the best of Messe for California-based Keyboard Magazine. Musikmesse 2012 Gear Report [Keyboard Magazine] Instead of trying to cover absolutely everything, this is the stuff …

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Sociable Music Gadgets: Networked Android + Arduino Sequencer in a “Hack of Concept”

Yesterday, we saw a bit of the idea of making mobile gadgets more sociable with each other. The idea is, through network/wireless and cabled connectivity, you extend possibilities for expression, control, and collaboration with yourself and others. It’s the same thing that makes a recording studio useful: tools work together to let people work together to create music. It’s absolutely not a new idea; the engineering question is just making it work well on new platforms. On iOS, we’re already seeing some of this: apart from MIDI connectivity, developer like KORG have even tried using wireless features intended largely for …

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Golden Age of Wireless: Korg iOS Sync, Android + MIDI Hardware, Enter Bluetooth MIDI?

Ready to cut the cord and go wireless? With mobile gadgets getting involved in music-making, it seems a logical solution – maybe not reason to throw away your MIDI cabling, but worth at least trying. Bluetooth could be an answer. In fact, it could work even without all those pesky, pricey mobile tablets and phones lying around, just with good, old-fashioned MIDI gear. (‘Bout time.) Bluetooth and MIDI are a logical match; the big surprise is that these two haven’t paired off (cough) much earlier. We’ve seen the occasional implementation or paper or rant, but not much real-world usage. That …

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